Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Trends 2004 Cold Japanese River
Japan is now considered the " Empire of Cool ." I have to admit, I do have a weakness for Japanese toys, food, and artwork.
Japan is reinventing itself -- this time as the coolest nation on Earth. Analysts are marveling at the breadth of a recent explosion in cultural exports, and many argue that the international embrace of Japan.

· If it's Japanese, the world wants it: Japan is hot [blatantly pinched from Looking at what's on eBay to determine the health of the economy ]
· Generation E.A.: Ethnically Ambiguous [ via Swing Voter]

Monday, December 29, 2003

Like most yearbooks, the one from Oakville Trafalgar High School leaves space beneath the photos of graduating students for them to acknowledge the friends, teachers and events that made their high school years memorable. And, as at most high schools, students at the Oakville school tend to write strings of initials, slang and inside jokes that form hidden messages in teenage code.
But this past spring, the message from Grade 12 valedictorian Andrew Ironside was anything but cryptic.

I am not the most popular person, not even close
A lot of you were jerks ... Andrew Ironside, now a student at Brock University, was elected valedictorian at his Oakville, Ont., high school as a joke, but made the most of the opportunity.
A lot of people in our grade, the grade that elected me, do not know my name. They just know me as that blond kid with the freaky eyes.
Mr. Ironside, who had his own page in the yearbook, had been elected valedictorian in a vote carefully orchestrated by his peers and designed to embarrass him.
But when graduation night arrived, he gave a speech that transformed a malicious high school joke into an ad libbed sequel to Revenge of the Nerds.

· If I can be elected valedictorian, anything is possible [ courtesy of Reflection and soul searching: Ordinary Canadians who showed extraordinary courage.]
· If I can be published, anything is possible :=) [blatantly pinched from Canadian Dragon]

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Sydneysiders stand in front of the estate agents, staring at the photographs, their jaws dropping... Looking back at a year of economic & political carping.

03's company: what a crowd
The scent first went to the Dobermans. A sniff, a whiff in the sultry days as 2003 began, and they quickly divined that the year would be a stinker. Some seasons were like that. And it would probably also stay hot, they figured.
Now at the end of the year, they had been proven right. In the office at Tried and True Trustees, Sisyphus worked the abacus and shook his head and the dogs became very still, though their nostrils flared and their exhalations whistled faintly in nervous staccato.

· AMP. What a dog [blatantly pinched from Finally, there was zzzzzzzzmh. ]
· You've been a good mate tradition is alive and well in NSW [ via SMH Terrigals and Trogs dine out on Carr's fate ]
· Bones to pick [ courtesy of Praguepost]

Friday, December 26, 2003

Have Yourself a Merry Little Boxing Day
How dare we question our leaders who have blisters and blood from making us and our families safer, richer and happier? Biting the very hand that feeds Us? We are an unpatriotic, flag-hating conspiracy freak if we doubt the regime our honest politicians are sooooo proud of creating! It's stuff in journals like the Wahington Post that makes me sit up. Usually, when political journalists in the trenches say something this momentous, it means something. It speaks of a lack of faith in leadership; a disafection in the fourth estate. Readers sit up, listen and ponder.

Under Bush, Expanding Secrecy
Last Monday, the Supreme Court announced it would consider an effort by Vice President Cheney to keep private the records of the energy policy task force he ran. On Friday, the White House announced that it has known for two weeks about an attack on a convoy carrying Iraq administrator L. Paul Bremer -- but had decided not to divulge the information. Later that day, President Bush announced a disarmament deal with Libya reached during nine months of secret negotiations.
· It is a banner for government secrecy: I Rule, Therefore I'm Golden [ courtesy of Washington Post ]
· Chomsky has written about the selective memory and the morality of convenience [ via Independent ]
· Lord Black: Friendship and Business Blur in the World of a Media Baron [ via Thoughtlines: On the dust jacket: blurbs by an impressive set of conservative thinkers...]

God is not a right-wing boxing zealot
God has given us two eyes, two ears and two arms and two hands, but only one heart. And it's in the center and a little bit to the left.
In the heart of the Bluegrass, a Bible Belt preacher is rallying people to political action around what he calls "basic religious values." Think you can describe his politics? Think again. This man of the cloth wants "regime change" in Washington.

· Washminsters [ via Salon]

It's greed, not ideology, that rules the White House
Why the US wants Iraq's debts cancelled - and Argentina's paid in full
· NO Ideas [ via Guardian(UK)]

Vintage year for the wages of sin and the wagers of lawyers
The 2003 legal year commenced badly and didn't get much better. The tax lives of barristers continued to feature unhappily throughout the entire season. Clarrie Stevens, "QC", who missed putting in 16 years of tax returns, finally agreed he was not a fit and proper person to stay on the roll of practitioners.
· Does that complete the cross-examination? [ courtesy of SMH]

Czech their consciences at the door as they enter
They become voting drones for the parties' elite, making up the numbers.
As Richard Face, the former minister for gaming and racing, told the Independent Commission Against Corruption recently when asked if he could remember voting on a parliamentary code of conduct: "I don't recall it, but if you've ever been down to Parliament, you troop in, you sit down and you get counted."

· Frank Assessment of the House of Evil [ via SMH: repy stands for rely]

It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape.
I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

Since today is a boxing day, I wanted to write something about the quality of leadership in workplaces today, but Adele did it for me. Mentors and Managers like Dr Cope, Mr Brian, Ms Azarias were the lions in the NSW Parliament House, but today the heads of departments are being replaced with jackals and hyenas.
One can only imagine the level of frostiness between certain lions and hyenas. It would be like imagining boxing gloves unraveling the strands of a thick wet rope. Something evil often unraveling comes along, but it’s not what we foresaw. Then we learn that a short period of industrial democracy can be preferable to a long period of fearing. Workers all live in an age of constant boxing between peril and heroism. There is something about misleadership that says we should do something, and we had no idea what that might be. Hopefully, the day of cryptic judgement is coming (eureka smile)

Discovering what works on the shop floor
For too many Australian workers, the summer break is like a reprieve from prison. Worn-out and browbeaten, they retreat to the coast to recuperate from yelling bosses, distrustful managers and tension-filled environments. For 21st-century industrial prisoners, a month off is not enough.
· Distrustful CEOs, SESs & Managers [ via SMH ]

Thursday, December 25, 2003

As Krusty, the Klown, would say: ‘Have a Kooky Christmas, a Happy Hanukkha, a Crazy Kwanza, and a...very respectful Ramadan.

The 411 on Faith
Now that we're in the season of Ramadan, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, check out Beliefnet.com for the 411 on every religion.
Season's greetings to Media Dragon readers -- and a big thank you. We rely on you for tips and feedback and look forward to hearing from you in the new year.
SUBMIT YOUR TIPS FOR THE VIRTUAL 6 DEGREE OF SEPERATION: What websites and stories do you find most ironical, trendy, savvy? Which dragon tails about political and managerial bullies have been missed by the journalistic profession? Send a link and I'll publish a selection.

· Greetings [ via ideas ]

Monday, December 22, 2003

Is This Legal?
I Spy impulse, families and employers are adopting surveillance technology once used mostly to track soldiers and prisoners. New electronic services with names like uLocate and Wherify Wireless make a very personal piece of information for cellphone users. physical location, harder to mask.
· Are CEOs & SES becoming SS of 2004? [ courtesy of Auction Wagon: ebay trends...]

Dumpster can be a gold mine
It was the first time I had ever been to the dump,'' Massey recalled, wrinkling his nose. ''I said, 'I'm not going to get dirty,' so I wandered over to a shed where the recycling was stored. I notice there's a big barrel for recycled paper that's full of discarded tax forms from an accounting firm.'' Each form had the person's name, date of birth, Social Security number -- all the information necessary for taking out a line of credit.
· Aspiring identity thief [ via Google]

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Did Anyone Sit Back and Ask What is Right?
No way. They all had their snouts too deep in the trough and their brains too busy working out how much they could get away with to give a damn about anyone else. It's been that sort of year in politics and business, but lots of Australians without the cash or the clout of the elites we can't trust any more took a stand for what's right at great personal and financial cost.
· So much for the rule of law in NSW [ courtesy of Last Column for 2003 by Margo Kingston]

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Become obsessed with blogging
Blogging is easy and it's not hard to incorporate it into your life. You don't have to disclose personal facts unless you want to. Go ahead and make stuff up. Embellish. Kick things up a notch. A year from now I'll be picking up your paperback bestseller, A Year of Office Politics, for $12.95.
Tell readers about the bastions of secrecy and illustrate your story with irony such as the gem about a GST area manager who belongs to a political party that issued a sticker stating Do not blame me I did not vote for the GST. I understand that after four years of GST this particular character keeps the sticker up for all the subordinates reporting to this position to read. Expose the stories behind entertaining families and friends at Expos... Have fun and do not be afraid not even of Michael Carmody.(smile)

· Truth Always Prevails [ courtesy of Blogger ]

Sacked author makes another killing
The boss looked like a pig, his secretary was a brainless blonde, the computer geek was a sexual pervert and the senior broker was a chronic drunk.
The tension they supposedly created in an insurance company was so distressing that Bruno Perara, 46, turned to violent fantasy and wiped them all out in a novel called Little Murders Among Partners.
The book, inspired by his workmates' characters, cost him his job after selling only 858 copies - half of them bought by the company's 450 staff. But the author, an administrator, has ended up $A120,000 richer.

· Little Murders [link via If in Prague kill time @ Tulip ]
· Scotty Tulip

The end of the American & Australian dreams
Where is this taking us? Thomas Piketty, whose work with Saez has transformed our understanding of income distribution, warns that current policies will eventually create "a class of rentiers in the U.S., whereby a small group of wealthy but untalented children controls vast segments of the US economy and penniless, talented children simply can't compete." If he's right--and I fear that he is--we will end up suffering not only from injustice, but from a vast waste of human potential.
· Goodbye, Horatio Alger. And goodbye, American Dream.
[ via Roadtosurfdom]
· Aussie $700bn credit binge [ courtesy of Gittins]
· Negative Gear [ via Road to Nowhere]

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Queer Man Kahalls
I also think there is real value, cathartic release, in applying to humour to the situation and being able to openly laugh at what we once feared
Why fear him if he was never a threat?

Hitler has only got one ball,
The other is in the Albert Hall,
His mother, the dirty bugger,
Took the other when he was small.
· Seriously Forgibbings & Blunt [ courtesy of Usher of the Black Rod (Max Willis smile)]
· Blogging For Money [ via Cryptic Living Room]

State vs state  

Classic Links State vs state
Perhaps this year the Foundation should adopt the Allen Consulting approach, proclaiming that all results are good, only that some may be better than others, given particular circumstances.
· For Better or Worse [ courtesy of Back Pages]
· Bum V Bum [ via SMH]

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Community development finance institutions: evidence from overseas and Australia
Australia has failed to follow most other developed countries and develop a set of specialised financial institutions that are needed for the successful regeneration of disadvantaged communities. Community Development Financial Institutions constitute one such new institution. This paper describes the emergence of CDFIs, the various forms they have taken and the kinds of government support they have received in various countries. It suggests initiatives that can carry forward the task of institutional development in Australia.
· regeneration of disadvantaged [Australian Centre for Co-operative Research and Development, University of Technology Sydney (PDF file) courtesy of APO ]
· Simply the best: workplaces in Australia (PDF file) [ via APO ]

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer
Had a very shiny gun
And if you ever saw it
You would turn around and run...

Mikulás, or St. Nicholas Day, is the real kickoff of the Christmas season in the Czech Republic. Sort of a cross between Halloween and Christmas, the streets are full of people dressed in costumes and families taking their children to meet the people in costumes.
Devil Sadam [ via Arellanes ]

The Caught You Red-Nosed--Uh, -Handed
We hold on to an image of ourselves as a nation of people who give others a fair go. While this is often challenged, I’d like to think that we will all continue to aim for a fair society, to share opportunities and be welcoming.
If we think about what it takes to create an Australia where each of us loves and is loved, and dismiss the pressure to have that "perfect" Christmas experience, I believe Christmas can be a powerful time of hope, not trouble, for all Australians.

· Message [ courtesy of OLO]

Monday, December 15, 2003

Modern-Day Slavery
Christine Evans, John Lantigua, Christine Stapleton, Jane Daugherty and Connie Piloto of the Palm Beach Post explore the condition of illegal migrant workers in Florida, finding that "five modern-day slavery cases prosecuted in the past six years by the U.S. government have roots in Florida.
· Masters [ courtesy of Scoop ]
· Modern Day Australia [ courtesy of SMH ]

Sunday, December 14, 2003

The Saudi Connection
David E. Kaplan of U.S. News & World Report spent five months tracing the relationship between Saudi Arabian money and terrorism, finding that over the past 25 years, the desert kingdom has been the single greatest force in spreading Islamic fundamentalism, while its huge, unregulated charities funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to jihad groups and al Qaeda cells around the world. Saudi charities played an important role in a $70 billion campaign to spread the message of the ruling Wahhabi sect. Saudi largess encouraged U.S. officials to look the other way, some veteran intelligence officers say. Billions of dollars in contracts, grants, and salaries have gone to a broad range of former U.S. officials who had dealt with the Saudis:
· ambassadors, CIA station chiefs, even cabinet secretaries [ via Scoop ]

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Sometimes you learn skills in the communist Czechoslovakia that seem to be always in demand. Anyone needs some powerful powder such as anthrax? (smile) Even Australian troops based in Iraq named a dog Antrax. How much is that doggy in the window? Shopping Mall: Map!

You Cannot Trust Anyone This Days...
London's Mirror goes shopping in the Balkans for Semtex and ends up buying 13.5 kilograms of the stuff (they'd paid for 15). That's enough to do some serious damage.
· There Is No Longer Honour Among Thieves [ courtesy of Scotty]

Where Taliban go to find warm beds and recruits
Weapons are everywhere since the Soviet days in Afghanistan. We can fight for another 15 years. We have Kalashnikovs, grenades, rocket-propelled grenades, and explosives. We have all kind of weapons. The only thing we don't have is something to counter B-52s.
· Needed: warriors, not guns [ courtesy of Christian Science]

Friday, December 12, 2003


You never would have guessed that I would give my life for saint/sinner Soros! Indeed, Soros will always be my hero; even beyond my grave. (smile) Please note this one teeny, tiny step closer to a less corrupt world. Since the Open Society Institute’s U.S. Programs began in 1996, one of the foundation’s central efforts has been to improve the functioning of U.S. democracy and, in particular, to promote an understanding of the influence of money on U.S. politics and to explore solutions that reduce this influence. OSI’s long-term goals have been to reduce the corrupting influence of very large donors to political parties and candidates, to increase public trust and participation, and to open the system so that candidates without access to financial resources can be heard by voters.

Finance Law
The consensus seems to be that political corruption is so rampant and detrimental to the American political body that any measure to slay this monster is welcome. The NY Times ran an editorial titled “ A campaign finance triumph ” and blithely noted:
The Supreme Court delivered a stunning victory for political reform yesterday, upholding the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law virtually in its entirety. The court rejected claims that the law violates the First Amendment, making it clear that Congress has broad authority in acting against the corrupting power of money in politics. The ruling is cause for celebration, but it should also spur Congress to do more to clean up our political system.
· Campaign [ via NYTimes ]
· Cleaning UP [ courtesy of Soros ]

Thursday, December 11, 2003

The Insiders
· Challenge [ via Crikey ]
· Just what sort of exotic dancers? All is revealed

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Miserable Failures and Successes 

It is possible to commit no mistakes -- and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life...
There can be no triumph without loss
No victory without suffering
No freedom without sacrifice
Cold Advise

Meanwhile my short story @ ABCTales received over centenary readers...
Furthermore my long monograph has a dubious honour of being presented on the same page as:
Un Unfinished Life, John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963; Benjamin Franklin; I Am a Soldier, Too; Bill Clinton: An American Journey; (sic) The Jessica Lynch Story; and being stuck between Living History, Hillary Rodham Clinton and miserable failures of Bin Laden & Georges Clemenceau statures...
· Reading Palms Digitally [ courtesy of Google ]

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Amber finds hope on a farm
Formerly angry, abused, homeless and addicted, Amber is now one of the thousands of success stories springing from a community-based revolution that is putting health care back into the hands of patients.
· PRACTICAL MAGIC: A Herald Series [SMH ]


Sometimes I feel as if I am pounding out the same message over and over to the point of harping: Newspapers have a destructive, risk-adverse culture that stifles change and initiative. Fix the culture and the rest will follow.
· It's the Culture, Stupid: The Mood of a Newsroom [ via Tim Porter]

Rum Corps to white-shoe brigade
The way that land is at the heart of Australian dream: the source of wealth and security, spirituality and belonging is explored in the second Griffith Review: Dreams of Land. As interest rates rise it might be time to rethink the national hobby of property speculation, but Jim Forbes and Peter Spearritt remain sceptical as they trace the history of speculation.
· We are unlikely to break our addiction to bricks and mortar [The Griffith Review via APO ]
· Low Rentals [Brisinst.org.au]

Monday, December 08, 2003


Alex Wayne of the Greensboro News & Record analyzed Guilford County payroll records to find that some of the largest bonuses in 2002 and 2003 "went to the government's best-paid and highest-ranking employees." The report is based on data released by the county after the paper sued for the information in October. "The records the county released provide a 17-month snapshot of the bonus and merit-raise system, dating to July 2002. The snapshot is incomplete, however, because the county only released records about merit raises, and not about two other common types of salary increases that county employees can attain."
· best-paid and highest-ranking employees [Record via Scoop ]
· Who Tried To Bribe Rep. Smith? [ courtesy of Novak ]

Sunday, December 07, 2003


Some remedies are worse than the disease! It is not just speed that kills, try driving from Engadine to Sutherland on the Princes Highway where a huge accident took place last week that caused delays from 6 am till 930 am. Soldiers who served in Iraq can identify with the potholes and even the radiation in the area seems to be an par with Iraq.
Last month pubs and clubs in the Cronulla area were alive with suggestions that the production at Lucas Heights of the most used nuclear medicine had been shutdown for five days because of higher than normal emmission of radioactive gas. Believe it or not, ANSTO did not blame the Sydney weather when it had taken the unusual step of publicly confirming the story via the nuclear regulator, ARPANSA, (another acronym ...ouch) telling them about a greater than usual release of radioactive form of the noble gas, xenon. Do we need to shoot the messengers every time there are facts supporting those who know too well why these gases managed to escape entrapment of charcoal filters?
Back to black potholes, though, as the almighty Staysafe Committee has an answer to the reduction of deaths on the Old South Wales roads... You guessed it ...more police on the roads that seemed to be peppered with potholes and drivers who have trouble absorbing every symbols on the side of the road. It is OK though to have drivers who never ever had undertaken defensive driving.
One does not have to be a genius to observe that today we have so many signs on our ancient roads, spaghetti junctions, that even the georgeous policewoman who recently booked me, in an area we just moved in from Brissie, admitted that it was not too hard to miss the vandalised No Right Turn sign. Even a sinner like me should get some sympathy especially as I am new to neighbourhood ... being caught wearing boxer shorts under the cover of darkness (8:30 pm November nigh) on surburban streets did not help.
As my brother in law, ex copper, used to say revenue is the king to police executives who expect bonuses every Christmas. So the safety does not appear to be the primary motive; as if it was we would make sure that we only have highly visible fluorescent (sic) signs everywhere and only those important life saving symbols on our streets rather that hundreds of sings placed in dark corners, to boot in small letters. So I am more bitter and $130 lighter. So who will not get her second hand surfboard as a pressie for Christmas? My youngest who loves anything to do with ROXY! As I see it, even if I tried I could not have hit anyone nor anyone could have hit me since the shoppping strip has another sign indicating 10 km an hour. Yes. I was actually going less than 10 km an hour! In my defensive driving school at the Czechoslovak army I was told to watch for pedestrians and potholes (especially when transporting anthrax or semtex or nuclear rods) rather than dozen of signs in 10 km zone! The sad thing is that we no longer distinguish between what is really important and what would be nice to obey! What will be my eye on next time I drive in surburban shopping strips...pedestrians? I doubt it; the basic instinct tells me to take a note of any police cars which generally stand out like sore thumbs. Moral of this story is; even if you think you are doing the right thing: such as sticking to speed limit of 10 km, there could be a multiple other signs you might not have known about...or you might have your licence at home five streets away or worst one of your tyres could have less pressure than the others...
· Svety Mikulas and Eight new deaths on NSW roads [ via SMH ]

X-rated films
Consumer Minister Jim Watson said he couldn't account for the sex shop fixation but said the new Liberal government has different plans for the inspectors.
I'm not sure why the previous government seemed so obsessed with X-rated films

· Beauro Madness [Avanova ]
· A Collection Of Pommish Political Cockups [BBC]


Everywhere in the world literature is in retreat from politics and unless resisted the one will crush the other. You don’t crush literature from outside by killing writers or intimidating them or not letting them publish, though as we’ve all seen you can make a big fuss and have a lot of fun trying. You do better to induce them to destroy it themselves by inducing them to subordinate it to political purposes, as you propose to do.
Kingsley Amis, The Russian Girl

Is Copyright Killing Culture?
Culture as we know it is increasingly bound up in the very laws that are supposed to nurture it. Copyright law has gone from promoting creativity to hindering artistic expression, thanks in part to the efforts of a few giant corporations that are sitting on billions of dollars worth of intellectual property. Culture is paying the price for these bad laws.
· The labyrinth of copyright [Durham Independent 12/03/03 courtesy of About Rolex]

Babies, books and a lesson in happiness
The debate between our politicians about reading to kids before bed raises the question: how do we hand our children a love of books?
· Reading [SMH]
· The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy [ courtesy of Informaniac ]

Support creativity and places of literary ventures...So when in Sydney visit the Find at York St and when in Prague head for the Tulip
If in Prague
Together with Prague TV and the Czech chapter of Amnesty International, Scott MacMillan is helping to put together a Christmas benefit party at Tulip Cafe. Mark off Dec. 20 (two weeks from this Saturday) on your calendar. Scott is a writer and owner of Tulip Cafe (Opatovicka 3, Prague 1)
· Tulip Cafe: http://scottymac.blogspot.com/ [EmaiL::scott AT tulipcafe DOT cz]

I see no reason to believe this story is isolated

'Slavery' for American paycheck
Investigation of illegal workers centers on exploited Czechs
· Cleaning and cleaning and cleaning [PraguePost]

Saturday, December 06, 2003


I tore myself away from the desk this morning and went to watch my girls swim. As I watched them splashing H2O everywhere, I thought about all those drowned in Vietnamese boats. Indonesian boats...Thirst for freedom is so universal. It is hard now to convey what restricted lives we lived in those far off 1970s in Czechoslovakia. We were watched constantly by secret police... Then many teenagers had come to terms with the possibility of torture or death and the secret police honestly did not bother me at the time. Of course there were things I would regret hugely like leaving people I loved still by all accounts I have had a very fortunate childhood ... and judging by this account even my exile appears almost lucky

Human kind
Ask most people what they are doing for International Human Rights Day (IHRD) and you're likely to be met with a look of blank incomprehension.
· Looking squarely at the Rights [SMH]

People the law forgot
It is almost two years since the Guantanamo prison camp opened. Its purpose is to hold people seized in the 'war on terror' and defined by the Bush administration as enemy combatants - though many appear to have been bystanders to the conflict. Images of Camp Delta's orange-jumpsuited, manacled detainees have provoked international outrage. But the real horror they face isn't physical hardship, it is the threat of infinite confinement, without trial or access to legal representation.
· Black Bottom of the barrel [Guardian (UK)]

Yes, the boss is insane: Analysis of the Ego  

Like Freud, Bion maintained that individual and group psychology were just different ways of looking at the same thing. Like an organism, the group has its own mentality or mind. Understanding groups sheds light on the forces that drive individuals.
For Bion, the collective simply bristles with tensions between the needs of the individual and the group's mentality and culture. And, like the Cheshire Cat, group mentality or culture emerges only occasionally in a clear way.
In Australia, the list of recent corporate disasters includes HIH, Ansett and One.Tel. In each organisation, cracks in the system appeared well in advance. But regulators, managers and directors pushed on regardless and, in some cases, even papered over the cracks, denying the truth and suppressing dissent.
Few leaders have the ego strength to welcome thoughtful dissent and reward it. Instead, they call in the consultants, management is overhauled and new formulas for success are grafted on to the machinery. The pathology not only remains unchecked, it is denied. The equivalent of the organisation's ego - there to mediate between the group and the real world - and its conscience in the superego break down.

· In the long run, failing to address these issues can be far more painful than ignoring them [The New Age]

Friday, December 05, 2003

Citizen’s Journalism  

Good journalism doesn’t need to be complicated, sophisticated or expensive.
The Brownsville Herald, a 15,800-circulation daily in deep Texas, sent out a few reporters to ask local police and city commissions for various public records such as police logs or expense reports. The result: Runaround, hostility and ignorance by public officials and, in one case, a police car that tailed report Juan Ozuna for more than 20 minutes after he left city hall in Santa Rosa, Texas...
Where do you live? What do you want with this information? What’s your address?
I love this type of journalism. It resonates with truth. It conveys with direct honesty the frustrations of everyday experiences citizens undergo when dealing with government and bureaucracies – and by doing so connects with the public.

· Truth Frustrated [Tim Porter]

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Bordering on disbelief
Ignoring child prostitution along the Czech-German frontier won't make it go away.
Cathrin Schauer isn't likely to become an idol of the Czech public anytime soon. Her new book Children Walk the Streets: A Report From the Czech-German Border has probably created as much commotion as anything published here in recent years.
Politicians talk about the disgrace of the country abroad. Police want to file a legal complaint. The Czech media call her a liar, and even some of Schauer's peers in the nonprofit world don't believe her.

· Acid Tongues are Out: Self Interest Prevails [Prague Post]

Tuesday, December 02, 2003


Since government is very bureaucratic and, thus, employees usually have to follow a defined set of rules, it becomes rigid, often to the point of sclerotic. This makes it hard for government employees to adapt to changing circumstances. (It’s also why big corporations, with their bureaucratic structures, often find small businesses running rings around them.) Inability to adapt is not a recipe for efficiency.
· >Better bureamaking might be about breaking all the rules (smile) [AdventuresinBureaucracy.]
· Critics blast nondisclosure of weapons sales to global trouble zones [Praguepost.com]
· Fall of Communism was rocked by rock 'n roll... [Yahoo ]

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